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Gillian Rosh

The Old Guard (2020)

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A covert team of immortal mercenaries are suddenly exposed and must now fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered.

Watched this over the weekend and really loved it. Charlize Theron was great as always, and I loved seeing KiKi Layne in a very different role from the one she played in If Beale Street Could Talk. She more than held her own as Nile went toe to toe with Andy.

Never saw Matthias Schoenaerts in anything before this, but I liked him as Booker. And of course, I loved Joe and Nicky, and the little glimpses we saw of their affection and love for each other.

Most of all, I loved dwelling in the world created by the story, so much so that for once, I'm actually wanting a sequel!

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It was surprisingly good after the letdown that was Extraction. 

I hope the sequel gives us Joe and Nicky flashbacks.

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I found this to be a fun movie and the cast was great. I did find myself wondering what would happen if you cut off the head of one of these immortals.

The one thing that was confusing were the flashback scenes where it looked like Chiwetel Ejiofor's character was present. I kept waiting for a reveal that he was a secret immortal but they never went there.

One bit of attention to detail that I appreciated was how the process of dying and then waking up from that was difficult and painful. I have seen too many Marvel movies where characters get hit by anything from a thrown vehicle to chunks of a moon and this causes them to be a little winded while they're making quips at the bad guys. Getting shot would suck no matter who you are and having the bullet exit the way it came in times the number of bullets they soaked up... ouch. There was also that terrifying torture scene with the iron coffin being sunk although

Spoiler

I had a feeling Andy's gal wasn't going to be stuck in there forever

Since we have the setup for a sequel already, here's hoping we get one.

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Watched this last night. It seems like they set up for a sequel but I wish they'd do a series instead. It seems like a lot could be done with this story. If Charlize is too expensive, they've already set the stage for her exit.

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  In these challenging times (tm), beggars can't be choosers, so it is exciting to have any new movie available. I was impressed that it had a few A-list actors on board. 
  It reminded me a lot of the previous Net-flic 'Extraction' - - but it seems as if all the action movies lately have main characters fighting their way thru a nameless, faceless para-military squadron of mercenaries, as brutally and violently as possible. The baddest bad guys are saved to be killed last, of course. 
  I wonder if these nefarious companies include some fine print on their security guard applications that read: Possibly evil enterprise. Amoral agendas. Please be prepared for military assault situations in workplace hallways. 
 
The evil pharma-tech company certainly seemed willing to lose a lot of employees in order to get their hands on the never-die DNA - - hope they provided good life insurance plans.

  It was fun. My one quibble with the movie was that at the end it felt like a Mission Impossible movie that had no mission. Everything seemed to revolve around the Old Guard being set-up, captured and escaping - - they never got a chance to save anyone other than themselves. 
  Since the team members  were vulnerable to being drugged, it seemed as though there would have been many, many ways for the traitor of the group to achieve his plan without so much violence and bloodshed.  ..but as Ryan George explains why it happened that way in his youtube Pitch Meeting videos: "so the movie can happen". 

 

Edited by shrewd.buddha
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33 minutes ago, shrewd.buddha said:

  In these challenging times (tm), beggars can't be choosers, so it is exciting to have any new movie available. I was impressed that it had a few A-list actors on board. 
  It reminded me a lot of the previous Net-flic 'Extraction' - - but it seems as if all the action movies lately have main characters fighting their way thru a nameless, faceless para-military squadron of mercenaries, as brutally and violently as possible. The baddest bad guys are saved to be killed last, of course. 
  I wonder if these nefarious companies include some fine print on their security guard applications that read: Possibly evil enterprise. Amoral agendas. Please be prepared for military assault situations in workplace hallways. 
 
The evil pharma-tech company certainly seemed willing to lose a lot of employees in order to get their hands on the never-die DNA - - hope they provided good life insurance plans.

  It was fun. My one quibble with the movie was that at the end it felt like a Mission Impossible movie that had no mission. Everything seemed to revolve around the Old Guard being set-up, captured and escaping - - they never got a chance to save anyone other than themselves. 
  Since the team members  were vulnerable to being drugged, it seemed as though there would have been many, many ways for the traitor of the group to achieve his plan without so much violence and bloodshed.  ..but as Ryan George explains why it happened that way in his youtube Pitch Meeting videos: "so the movie can happen". 

 

At least in the other movie you had many of the cops and soldiers thinking they were protecting their community from a giant foreign mercenary.  Here you had corporate gunmen falling like soldiers at Omaha Beach on D-Day or Iwo Jima and moving forward instead of out of the building.

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The idea of nameless mercenaries dying en masse probably goes back to the Bond movies, like the undersea battle in Thunderball, or attacking the volcano lair in You Only Live Twice. It's just the budget for extras has gotten higher and the violence more up close and graphic.

I liked this movie much more than Extraction, my only quibble being the extremely weak rationale for the betrayal of the team.

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Pretty good. Great action scenes. Theron does a good job with action and I'd like to see her do more. An overall well-made movie, but I thought I'd like it more. Nowhere near as good as Extraction, but Netflix's movies are getting much better.

Edited by WritinMan · Reason: Typo!

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On 7/23/2020 at 8:40 AM, Rickster said:

my only quibble being the extremely weak rationale for the betrayal of the team.

It was extremely weak since 

Spoiler

Booker could have just offered himself in return for eventually giving the solution to mortality to Andy. He didn't have to drag her and the others into it.

 

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7 minutes ago, CoyoteBlue said:

It was extremely weak since 

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Booker could have just offered himself in return for eventually giving the solution to mortality to Andy. He didn't have to drag her and the others into it.

Merrick wanted them all because he didn't want them falling into the hands of any competition. He makes this clear several times during the movie.

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Yeah, I guess I just got the impression at that moment that

Spoiler

Booker had been in on it from the beginning and not just betraying her at the last minute.

 

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4 hours ago, ursula said:

Merrick wanted them all because he didn't want them falling into the hands of any competition. He makes this clear several times during the movie.

That explains Merrick and his organization, but not Booker's just walking away  for science. He's old enough to know that multiple teams working have a better chance of doing good than having all the eggs in one proverbial basket 

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11 hours ago, Raja said:

That explains Merrick and his organization, but not Booker's just walking away  for science. He's old enough to know that multiple teams working have a better chance of doing good than having all the eggs in one proverbial basket 

I’m not sure I understand your question. It reads like you’re arguing that Booker should have offered the other team members to several other competing Big Pharma execs. But my response was to the poster who didn’t understand why Booker had to betray the whole team when he could have just offered himself. 

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16 hours ago, CoyoteBlue said:

Yeah, I guess I just got the impression at that moment that

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Booker had been in on it from the beginning and not just betraying her at the last minute.

Yes, he was in it from the beginning. He set up with Copley against their usual system of not repeating clients. The rescue of the girls was “Proof of Immortality”. Then he stayed behind after Nicky and Joe were taken so that he could deliver Andy. Nile was a complication and he never wanted her involved, and he argues against her joining the team. So he was always involved from the start of the movie at least. What is not clear is how long Copley had been building his Wall of Crazy before he recruited Booker. But I’m guessing he got enough information to either get Booker’s attention (the film implies that Booker handles their jobs and their contacts while the other 3 lie low and try to live unobtrusively) or to approach Booker himself. But he gave him a pitch that Booker liked. The only condition was that it was a package deal - the whole team, and not Booker alone.

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It reads like you’re arguing that Booker should have offered the other team members to several other competing Big Pharma execs.



I don't know what the original poster meant, but that was a question I had. Why did Copely and Booker need to link up to obviously shady Merrick instead of going with an academic researcher or looking around for a less shady company? Booker was willing to be studied, and they didn't actually need the rest of the immortals for Booker and Copely's aims. Merrick just wanted them all because he's evil and profit driven.

I think the actual answer is "because otherwise there would be no plot," but it seemed like they could have added a teeny bit of exposition to justify it. Put in a line or two that establishes the evil research doctor as the only genius with the potential to crack the secret and claim it was Merrick or nothing.

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On 7/20/2020 at 1:55 PM, festivus said:

Watched this last night. It seems like they set up for a sequel but I wish they'd do a series instead. It seems like a lot could be done with this story. If Charlize is too expensive, they've already set the stage for her exit.

I agree! I'd LOVE it if they made this into a series. 

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I actually thought this was a series and got all excited about Charlize Theron doing a whole series. Still, I liked it. Although I was a little disappointed that Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley) ended up playing a bad guy again.

He was so impressive as the Artist in the Ballad of Buster Scruggs. An absolutely enchanting performance.

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12 hours ago, Zuleikha said:

Why did Copely and Booker need to link up to obviously shady Merrick instead of going with an academic researcher or looking around for a less shady company?

I guess because he’s the biggest game in the Pharma business? But you’re right, there should have been at least one throwaway line explaining why someone like Copley who had a moral code would get in bed with this specific sociopath. 

ETA: It’s kind of hinted that since Merrick took some convincing, Copley might have shopped around his theory and Merrick was the only one who didn’t call him bonkers and show him the door.

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Bear with me... unimportant but the kind of thing that bugs: How could she come back to life underwater?

In stories that I've seen where characters are immortal / semi-immortal, they don't resurrect until the fatal problem is cleared. For example, if an immortal were hung, the body stays "dead" until they're brought down and their windpipe can heal. If they were impaled and that fatally severed an artery, the obstruction has to come out before the artery can reconnect and flow blood. Right? So how can she come back to life underwater? There's no air available to take that first breath, she shouldn't resurrect until she's out of the water.

Obviously fantasy stories create the logic for their world, and maybe this one has its own that's just different. And stories ignore their "rules" all the time to create a better plot!

Or, I could be missing something basic and important about how bodies work that would explain that first lungful of air. That's always possible too 🙂

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I agree.

However, in this story, they seem to heal regardless. Didn't their bodies expel the bullets that killed them? So, it seems their bodies make an effort to take care of whatever killed them. And in the case of being under water, my guess is, the lungs expel the water momentarily, get to breathe and then drown again.

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Watched it tonight and it was a fun movie. Especially for a kind of dumb action movie. My big issue was I wanted to know what happens if one of the immortals gets their heads chopped off. Or if there body gets cut in half at the waist, does the bottom half or the top half grow back.

But as someone who used to love reading Greg Rucka's comic work (and his novels although a lot of those had issues) this was way way way better than that piece of crap Whiteout movie. Although I still can't believe they haven't made a Queen & Country movie yet.

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